Alexander Lotersztain, Designer, Derlot

Be passionate, be curious, don’t be afraid of mistakes and stick to it ...

Argentinian-born, Brisbane-based designer Alexander Lotersztain has added many an impressive notch to his design belt in the ten years as director at Derlot. A multi-disciplinary studio, Derlot embraces a mix of commercial product and interior design, along with furniture, branding and art direction for local and international clients. A graduate of the Queensland College of Art, Alexander went on to be awarded the inaugural Queensland Premier’s Smart State Designer of the Year fellowship award in 2010. Passionate about travel and contributing positive change through design, Alexander works to foster collaboration between designers and manufacturers, utilises recycled materials in his designs, and nurtures relationships with the people at the core of the companies he deals with, from Ecuador to Switzerland to France. Dispersed about the city, you can see Alex’s handiwork in the design of Limes Hotel, the lighting for the new One One One building at Eagle Street, the Twig seating outside the State Library of Queensland and the interior and branding of the soon-to-open Alfred & Constance venue in Fortitude Valley. The Weekend Edition caught up with Alex this week before he jetted off to Singapore for the World Architecture Festival and on to Europe for a work-meets-family holiday.

How do you like to start your weekend?
By sleeping in … though it doesn’t happen very often. Then I like to walk to the local cafe and have a late breakfast with my daughter while mum goes to yoga.

What’s your favourite thing to do on a Saturday morning?
Spending it with my baby girl. I work a lot during the week, so on Saturday it’s nice to wake up and do something together as a family.

How do you like to unwind?
I like to just have a nice home-cooked meal, a glass of wine, enjoy the view from the apartment and capture the sunset.

What are your essentials for a well-spent weekend?
Switching off, having at least one lunch and breakfast out, and making time to catch up with friends or go for a ride either on my motorcycle or mountain bike.

What’s something you’ve been meaning to do on the weekend but haven’t got around to yet?
Head to the Gold Coast Hinterland for a three-day weekend – it’s on the calendar!

What’s your favourite thing to do on a Sunday evening?
Have a lazy afternoon that flows into the night and ends up with a sumptuous dinner, then I’m ready to tackle the week again.

What are you looking forward to next weekend?
Actually I will be in France at the Ville de Baccarat, checking on one of my latest design projects – a new glass bowl. They usually spoil me when I am there and this time I am taking my family. I usually stay in this 120-year-old Chateau that belongs to the family … it’s insane! I can’t wait.

What are you reading at the moment?

What inspires you?
Everything, and I mean it in the true sense of the word. Travel is probably my main source of inspiration, but it goes all the way from a picture in a magazine to the shoes of someone sitting next to me on a plane, or the little cultural differences that make us so unique, and learning something new through a conversation.

What was your childhood dream?
To be a like Indiana Jones … it didn’t work out quite like that. I was also always so fascinated with building Lego and pulling things apart, so I guess a designer has been in me for a long time … plus I still get to travel and go on adventures. Last year we did a hike with a couple of friends through the Papua New Guinea highlands – wild!

What has been your greatest achievement?

What is success to you?
In the business sense, it’s that expression/look in my clients’ eyes of true excitement and surprise. With life, it’s friendships.

What are your words of wisdom?
Be passionate, be curious, don’t be afraid of mistakes and stick to it.

Perk up …
Ugees is my West End local
Relax …
 A home
Dine …
Stokehouse Q, River Quay
Indulge …
 With cake at Chouquette
Shop … I don’t really shop in Brisbane
Catch-up …
Alfred & Constance, soon the place to be
Be inspired …
Brisbane’s cultural precinct – it still needs a Designer Centre to finish it of nicely though



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